In order for your child to meet the Reading and Writing demands of the New Zealand Curriculum we have provided some information that may assist you to help your child at home . . . .


We have moved away from the essential spelling words and are using a new spelling and phonics programme in classes, called  The Code. However if parents/ students wish to they can use the words below in the traditional way. We will update this section as well work through the programme in 2022.

Toko School Essential Words for Spelling and Writing


Hand Writing

In primary schools, the aim of teaching handwriting is to teach each child to write legibly, fluently, without strain, and with sufficient speed for all practical purposes. The main stages in teaching handwriting at primary school generally are:

  • Teaching grip, letter shapes and movements,
  • Increasing speed and endurance without loss of quality.
Two important elements of handwriting when children start school is movement and shape.  “It is not the shapes of letters which is of first importance when teaching handwriting.  The prime lesson to be learnt is the way in which the pencil should be moved to form the letters.  Below is a link to our Casey the Caterpillar Handwriting Programme.
Each letter in the English alphabet can be simplified into a few basic shapes. These shapes have been named by Barbara Brann as Casey Shapes. In this video the shapes are combined in order to form the letters of the alphabet.


Writing Family of Eight
This is a copy of the Family of Eight that we use to analyse and assess student writing.  These writing targets  will give you an indication of the sorts of learning that will be occurring for your child, in writing, as they progress through their schooling.
Writing activities that will help with writing mileage and keeping in practice are listed below: 
Years 1 -3
Write a list – pretend it is your birthday and write a list of all the yummy food you would like to have at your party, or write a list of all the groceries you need this week, maybe list all the people in your class.
Instructions – write a set of instructions for an everyday task such as making toast, brushing teeth, or getting dressed. Write a set of instructions for making a magic happiness potion.
Information – write about how to care for a pet, write about a favourite animal, or something else you are really interested in.
Draw a picture and label the things in the picture – all the animals on the farm, all the people in the picture, etc.
Make cards for people and write a message inside the card.
Years 4 – 8
This website provides a thought provoking picture and a story starter. Children can use the starter to write their own stories. There are also a range of other related activities that can be completed with each picture.
This website has a range of different ‘sheds’. Each shed is a different genre and contains short videos that spark writing inspiration. Each video has a range of activities listed. Once the video has been watched, children can choose one or more activities to complete.
Children will need to be logged into their school account, then they can access a range of tasks that are meaningful, interesting and integrated. These are found on our Literacy HUB under writing. But can be accessed from the link.


Reading targets
 We have included some Reading Targets .  These reading targets will give you an indication of the sorts of learning that will be occurring for your child, in reading, as they progress through their schooling.
Reading options that will help with reading mileage and keeping in practice are listed below: 
Wushka is a cloud-based digital reading program accessible from all common browsers and devices.  Rooms 1, 2 and 4 have access to this programme. Children will need to use their login to access this site.
Reading the NEWS
Some child friendly and interesting options are:
Pick a Path
Audio books
All of these options and more can be found on our school Literacy HUB. If children are logged into their school account, they will be able to access a greater range of reading options through the HUB.